Beauty and Life. Exploring the anthropology behind the fine arts

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The pantheon of art is not a timeless presence which offers itself to pure aesthetic consciousness but the assembled achievements of the human mind as it has realised itself historically. Aesthetic experience also is a mode of self-understanding. But all self-understanding takes place in relation to something else that is understood and includes the unity and sameness of this other. Inasmuch as we encounter the work of art in the world and a world in the individual work of art, this does not remain a strange universe into which we are magically transported for a time. Rather, we learn to understand ourselves in it, and that means that we preserve the discontinuity of the experience in the continuity of our existence. Therefore it is necessary to adopt an attitude to the beautiful and to art that does not lay claim to immediacy, but corresponds to the historical reality of man (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method).

Texts by Federica Bergamino, Michela Cortini, Juan José García-Noblejas, Rafael Jiménez Cataño, Giuseppe Madonna, Juan Carlos Mansur, Silvana Noschese, Jaana Parviainen, Giampiero Pizzol, Fulvia Strano.

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